Weekend Reading for 3/24/2017

Weekend Reading for 3/24/2017

The Social Security Hedge

Most readers of this blog are pre-retirees who probably haven’t given much thought to Social Security.  For the majority of us, other than the hefty 6.2% of every paycheck that goes towards FICA, Social Security is an afterthought.  But even if Social Security planning isn’t in your immediate future, there’s a good chance that somebody you know will be dealing with it soon.  For that reason, I wanted to illustrate a few simple concepts that are important to understand.

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Chart of the Week

Asia hosts the two most expensive cities according to the Worldwide Cost of Living index for 2017. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, “Asian cities tend to form the priciest locations for general grocery shopping”. In contrast, European cities have higher prices for recreation and entertainment. Swiss cities Zurich and Geneva top the league in Europe, followed by Paris.

Source: Statista

3 Good Reads

Gradual Improvements Go Unnoticed (Michael Batnick)

“Over the last nine years, it’s impossible to deny that things have gotten better; Better for the economy and better for the consumer. The thing is, better doesn’t go on a chart, because gradual improvements go unnoticed.”

The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time (Justin Zorn)

“But cultivating silence isn’t just about getting respite from the distractions of office chatter or tweets.  Real sustained silence, the kind that facilitates clear and creative thinking, quiets inner chatter as well as outer.  This kind of silence is about resting the mental reflexes that habitually protect a reputation or promote a point of view. It’s about taking a temporary break from one of life’s most basic responsibilities: Having to think of what to say.”

The U.S. Stock Market is an Anomaly (Alpha Architect)

“Conditioning on past returns can subject investors to form misguided expectations about the future (a reasonable premise since investors are often irrational). US investors should avoid their innate biases and take advantage of diversification — spread stock market bets around the globe — not just in US stocks. A concentrated bet on the US stock market is exactly that — a concentrated bet.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tim Brennan

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